Daniel Barroca: Refusal of the Image
Curated by Hunter College MA candidate Tatiana Mouarbe
July 24–August 22, 2015
Opening Reception: July 23, 6–8pm
205 Hudson Gallery
Hunter College Art Galleries
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 1–6pm
In Barroca’s multimedia and interdisciplinary practice, the artist investigates the perceptual and performative qualities of images and their reconstitution over temporal, spatial, and cultural boundaries. Marking the first solo show of Barroca’s work in the United States, Daniel Barroca: Refusal of the Image, examines the artist’s experiments with the instability of images in a series of video, photography, and drawing works from the past fifteen years, including The Sequences of Memory, Silence, and War; …a hazy and confused landscape; Maps of Complicities; Stuck in a Loop: Thoughts and notes on the end of the world; The Destruction of the Destruction; and War Drawing
Much of Barroca’s work with video, photography, drawing, and installation derives from an engagement with the mutable properties of images, their multiple lives and their perceptual transformations over time. Barroca collects and archives images, both found and personal, assembling a repository of historical images to work from and within, in order to locate varying synchronicities inscribed in these diverse selections. Barroca draws from a wide-range of historical and documentary material – photographs, videos, and sound recordings – produced at the time of major epochal events. Dislodging these from their contextual origin through abstraction and collage in his video and drawing works, the artist configures a new, unspecified space for his images. By blurring distinctions between an image’s form and content, a process of structural reworking through multiple mediums, Barroca exposes the shadows of images – those traces of memory, form, and gesture belonging to a timeless realm of collective experience.
In The Sequences of Memory, Silence, and War, a three-part video series, Barroca works with the fragments of found images – selections from a collection of family photographs gathered in flea markets and bookshops, grainy World War I footage, and VHS recordings on the atrocities of the Portuguese Colonial War and World War II – to depict a surreal portrait of humanity and nature, removed from any sense of time, place, or context. Building upon this notion of the disembodied image in his video installation … a hazy and confused landscape, Barocca cuts, reassembles, slows, and loops various sections of Kreta, a WWII-era German propaganda film, into four sequences, to divest the moving images of any ideological or historical identification and disrupt the film’s narrative structure. A more tactile exploration of form and image is initiated in Maps of Complicities, in which Barroca carves out lines of connective tissue atop two photographic prints, culled from his father’s war album, of young soldiers pictured in moments of leisure. This diagrammatic mapping of form continues in Barroca’s Stuck in a Loop: Thoughts and notes on the end of the world and War Drawing. In The Destruction of the Destruction, Barroca draws influence from Jorge Luis Borges’ short story Averroes’s Speech to focus on the mistranslation of texts, images, and ideas and how these distortions are sustained and expanded upon over time. In each work, images enter into a precarious state; Barroca unravels, reassembles, dislocates, and obscures his images in ways that trace their movements, mutations, and transformations across historical and cultural bounds.
Daniel Barroca was born in Lisbon in 1976. He studied painting and visual arts at Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual (ArCo), Lisbon and earned a degree in visual arts from Escola Superior de Arte e Design (ESAD), Caldas da Rainha in 2001. He was a resident artist at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in 2008 (Bolsa João Hogan – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in 2010 and 2011. Since his first solo show in 2001, the artist’s work has been extensively exhibited by international institutions such as Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany; Museu Colecção Berardo, Lisbon; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto; National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; Rijksakademie, Amsterdam; Spanish Academy, Rome; Qbox Gallery, Athens; and Queens Museum, New York. Barroca is currently a resident artist in The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions Program (2014-2015) and is the recipient of a research grant form the Marcelino Botin Foundation with the project A land that is more slippery than stable.